Fantasy News & Analysis

Fantasy Football Week 10: 5 WR/CB matchups to target and 5 to avoid

Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (9) celebrates after a play against the Tennessee Titans during the first half of the game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs WR JuJu Smith-Schuster: He has earned a 73.1 PFF receiving grade this season and is going to trounce Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Tre Herndon.

Tennessee Titans WR Treylon Burks: The rookie, who has earned a 64.2 PFF receiving grade, has blow-up potential in his return from turf toe versus Denver Broncos cornerback Damarri Mathis (58.2 PFF coverage grade).

Indianapolis Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr.: Avoid him (70.6 PFF receiving grade) against Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (63.9 PFF coverage grade).

Estimated Reading Time: 11 mins

Welcome to Week 10 of the 2022 NFL season. The sections below highlight five targets and avoids with data gleaned from PFF’s WR/CB matchup chart.

5 WR/CB MATCHUPS TO TARGET

WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kansas City Chiefs vs. CB Tre Herndon, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Kansas City versus Jacksonville boasts a week-high 50.5-point over/under.
  • The Chiefs' offensive line boasts a 16.0% matchup advantage rating over Jacksonville’s defensive line, sixth-best in PFF’s OL/DL matchup chart.
  • Over the past four weeks, JuJu Smith-Schuster’s 22.2 PPR points per game rank No 2 among NFL wide receivers.
  • The table below ranks Smith-Schuster (73.1 PFF receiving grade) in parentheses among 34 NFL wide receivers with at least 20 targets in Weeks 6-9. “No. 1” represents the best performance.
Per Routes Run: Tgt % – Yds Catch % – YAC/Rec Missed Tackles Forced Rec. Rec. of 15+ Yds
17.4% (No. 30) – 2.36 (No. 11) 91.7% (No. 1) – 8.2 (No. 2) 5 (T-No. 2) 7 (T-No. 9)
  • PFF’s WR/CB matchup chart projects Smith-Schuster to face significant snaps versus all three Jacksonville cornerbacks. The table below ranks Jacksonville cornerbacks in parentheses among 46 NFL cornerbacks with at least 75 coverage snaps in Weeks 7-9 (after starter Shaquill Griffin was placed on injured reserve). 
Jaguars CBs Proj. Snaps vs. Smith-Schuster – PFF Cov. Grade Catch % Allowed – Rec. Yds Allowed/Cov. Snap Explosive Pass Plays Allowed % 
Tre Herndon 25 – 55.7 (No. 35) 50.0% (T-No. 8) – 1.79 (No. 43) 4.0% (T-No. 41)
Darious Williams 24 – 78.6 (No. 8) 52.9% (No. 14) – 0.78 (No. 12) 1.8% (No. 20)
Tyson Campbell 10 – 53.5 (No. 39) 56.3% (No. 16) – 1.14 (No. 27) 2.7% (No. 33)
  • Jacksonville safety Rayshawn Jenkins (69.1 PFF coverage grade) is unlikely to play (concussion).
  • Chiefs starting wide receiver Mecole Hardman (abdomen, 65.8 PFF receiving grade) is unlikely to play.

WR Treylon Burks, Tennessee Titans vs. CB Damarri Mathis, Denver Broncos 
  • Tennessee is a 2.5-point home favorite with a 19.5-point implied team total versus Denver.
  • First-round rookie wide receiver Treylon Burks (64.2 PFF receiving grade) is expected to return from a Week 4 turf toe injury. Per Adam Hutchison’s Injury Index, wide receivers average 3.6 missed games and experience just a 2.4% dip in fantasy-point production upon their return from turf toe. 
  • Quarterback Ryan Tannehill (ankle) is due back in Week 10.
  • Among rookie wide receivers with at least 10 targets, Burks’ 20.8% targets per route run rate is No. 6 and his 1.68 yards per route run is No. 4.
  • In Weeks 1-4, Burks logged a 42.3% wide-left snap plurality, followed by rates of 26.8% wide-right and 16.1% in the slot.
  • The weakest link in Denver’s top-ranked pass defense (90.7 PFF coverage grade) is primary left cornerback Damarri Mathis. The table below ranks Davis in parentheses among 29 NFL cornerbacks with at least 100 coverage snaps since former starter Ronald Darby landed on injured reserve in Week 6.
PFF Coverage Grade Catch % Allowed – Yds Allowed/Cov. Snap Explosive Pass Plays Allowed % 
58.2 (No. 22) 70.0% (No. 16) – 0.86 (T-No. 10) 1.6% (No. 10)
  • Veteran wide receiver Robert Woods (72.8 PFF receiving grade) has been blasé this year, helping Burks’ odds of immediately assuming a prominent role in Week 10.

WR Josh Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers vs. CB Deommodore Lenoir, San Francisco 49ers
  • Los Angeles at San Francisco’s 45.5-point over/under is the fourth-highest of the week. 
  • The Chargers have a 19.25-point implied team total. 
  • Los Angeles Nos. 1 and 2 wide receivers Mike Williams (high ankle sprain, 72.4 PFF receiving grade) and Keenan Allen (hamstring, 74.8 PFF receiving grade) are unlikely to play.
  • Fill-in No. 1 wide receiver Josh Palmer (missed Week 7 in concussion protocol, Week 8 bye, 62.9 PFF receiving grade) has played very well over his past two games.
  • The table below ranks Palmer in parentheses among 37 NFL wide receivers with at least 10 targets during this unorthodox interval — Weeks 6 and 9.
Pre-Snap Alignment: Left – Slot – Right Per Routes Run: Tgt % – Yds Catch % – Contested Catch % YAC/Rec. – Missed Tackles Forced Rec. Rec. of 15+ Yds
34.0% – 22.4% – 43.5% 19.2% (No. 26) – 1.64 (No. 17)  89.5% (No. 5) – 100.0% (T-No. 1) 3.5 (No. 22) – 3 (T-No. 5) 3 (T-No. 11)
  • Palmer should take a plurality of snaps versus San Francisco right cornerback Deommodore Lenoir. The table below ranks Lenoir in parentheses among 70 NFL cornerbacks with at least 199 coverage snaps. “No. 1 “ represents the best defensive performance.
PFF Coverage Grade Catch % Allowed – Yds Allowed/Cov. Snap Forced Inc. % Explosive Pass Plays Allowed % 
45.8 (No. 67) 82.0% (No. 57) – 1.83 (No. 60) 5.1% (No. 48)  4.5% (No. 60)

WR Nico Collins, Houston Texans vs. CB Fabian Moreau, New York Giants
  • Houston has an 18.0-point implied team total at New York. 
  • Houston second-year wide receiver Nico Collins (groin, 72.1 PFF receiving grade) missed Weeks 8-9. 
  • As detailed in Ian Hartitz’s Week 10 WR/CB shadow matchups and biggest mismatches piece, New York cornerback Adoree Jackson (68.1) can be expected to shadow Houston No. 1 wide receiver Brandin Cooks
  • The table below ranks Collins in parentheses among 79 NFL wide receivers with at least 25 targets. 
Per Routes Run: Tgt % – Yds Catch % – Contested Catch % YAC/Rec.  Rec. of 15+ Yds
18.7% (No. 41) – 1.97 (No. 18) 62.1% (No. 57) – 90.0% (No. 3) 3.9 (No. 45) 11 (T-No. 25)
  • Collins’ 6.5% slot rate offers little opportunity to pummel subpar slot cornerback Darnay Holmes (51.8 PFF coverage grade).
  • The table below ranks cornerback Fabian Moreau, Collins’ primary opponent, in parentheses among 69 NFL cornerbacks with at least 200 coverage snaps. 
PFF Coverage Grade Catch % Allowed  Rec. Yds Allowed/Cov Snap Explosive Pass Plays Allowed
65.0 (No. 38) 54.3% (No. 12) 1.18 (T-No. 40) 3.4% (No. 52)
  • Collins’ contested-catch abilities help neutralize Moreau’s strength.

WR Chase Claypool, Chicago Bears vs. CB Jeffrey Okudah, Detroit Lions
  • Detroit at Chicago sits at a 48.5-point over/under, third-highest of the week.
  • Third-year wide receiver Chase Claypool made his post-trade Chicago debut last week, dominating targets but struggling to turn them into catches.
PFF Receiving Grade Pre-Snap Alignment: Left – Slot – Right Per Routes Run: Tgt % – Yds YAC/Rec. – Missed Tackles Forced Rec.
54.5 (No. 42) 57.7% – 11.5% – 30.8% 37.5% (No. 2) – 0.81 (No. 38)  5.5 (No. 12) – 1 (T-No. 1)
  • Post-Achilles rupture, cornerback Jeffrey Okudah (62.3 PFF coverage grade) leads left-side coverage in Detroit’s 30th-ranked pass defense (52.1 PFF coverage grade). 
  • The table below ranks Okudah in parentheses among 40 NFL cornerbacks with at least 275 coverage snaps. 
Catch % Allowed Rec. Yds Allowed/Cov. Snap Explosive Pass Plays Allowed %
73.7% (No. 29) 1.43 (No. 30) 3.9% (T-No. 30)
  • Detroit’s 7.30 receiving yards allowed per coverage snap and 19.6% explosive pass plays allowed rates are respective league highs.

5 WR/CB MATCHUPS TO AVOID

WR Rondale Moore, Arizona Cardinals vs. CB Troy Hill, Los Angeles Rams
  • Arizona at Los Angeles bears a worrying 41.5-point over/under.
  • The Cardinals project for a moderate 20.0-point implied team total. 
  • Arizona’s primary slot receiver, Rondale Moore, has a 49.6% slot rate since No. 1 wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins returned from suspension in Week 7. 
  • PFF’s WR/CB matchup chart projects Moore to face Los Angeles slot cornerback Troy Hill (76.6 PFF coverage grade, PFF WR/CB average 35.7 matchup advantage rating) on 28-of-40 receiving snaps. 
  • PFF’s WR/CB matchup chart optimistically projects Moore to face three-time first-team All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey (81.0 PFF coverage grade, PFF WR/CB poor 0.7 matchup advantage rating) on seven snaps. 
  • Ramsey’s 74 slot coverage snaps closely trail Hill’s 76, though.  
  • Per Ian Hartitz’s Week 9 WR/CB shadow matchups and biggest mismatches piece, Ramsey has not been asked to shadow No. 1 wide receivers this year.
  • The table below shows Moore’s three career games against Los Angeles.
Moore vs. Rams Rec./Tgt. – Yds – TD Per Routes Run: Tgt % – Yds Catch % – Passer Rating When Targeted YAC/Rec. – Missed Tackles Forced Rec. Explosive Pass Plays
Playoffs: Wildcard Round, 2021 5/6 – 32 – 0 33.3% – 1.78 83.3% – 49.3 3.6 – 0 0
Week 14, 2021 3/4 – 5 – 0 14.8% 0 0.19 75.0% – 77.1 5.7 – 1 0
Week 4, 2021 3/3 – 28 – 0 20.0% – 1.87 100.0% – 105.6 10.0 – 1 1
  • The table below ranks Hill and Ramsey in parentheses among NFL cornerbacks with at least 100 coverage snaps overall and 50 slot coverage snaps. 
Rams CBs PFF Coverage Grade – Slot Rec. Yds Allowed/Cov. Snap – Slot Catch % Allowed – Slot  Explosive Pass Plays Allowed Rate – Slot
Troy Hill 77.6 (No. 14) – 83.0 (No. 1) 0.97 (No. 36) – 0.51 (No. 4) 61.1% (No. 44) – 54.5% (No. 4) 1.7% (T-No. 24) – 0.0% (T-No. 1)
Jalen Ramsey 81.0 (No. 8) – 69.6 (No. 10) 0.99 (T-No. 38) – 0.62 (No. 9) 68.4% (T-No. 72) – 60.0% (No. 7) 1.1% (T-No. 6) – 0.0% (T-No. 1)
  • Both Moore (hand, limited participant) and quarterback Kyler Murray (hamstring, did not participate) showed up on the injury report this week, which creates another set of obstacles for Moore to overcome this week.

WR Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts vs. CB Rock Ya-Sin, Las Vegas Raiders
  • Indianapolis is a 6.0-point road underdog with a concerning 18.25-point implied team total against Las Vegas this week. 
  • Former Colts center Jeff Saturday was recently hired as interim head coach, and team owner Jim Irsay praised Saturday as an outsider candidate, not reliant on analytics.
  • Quarterback Sam Ehlinger (46.8 PFF passing grade) will remain Indianapolis’ starter despite Matt Ryan (58.7 PFF passing grade) largely outplaying him.
Colts QBs Adj. Comp. % Pass Yds/Att. Passer Rating Big-Time Throw % Turnover-Worthy Play % PFF Passing Grade: 1-9-Yd aDot
Sam Ehlinger 70.0% 5.8 69.7 3.7% 4.0% 43.5
Matt Ryan 79.8% 6.8 84.7 0.6% 4.1% 71.2
  • Ryan’s short-area prowess is better suited to No. 1 wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (70.6 PFF receiving grade), as Indianapolis has opted to deploy Pittman on quick-hitting routes to compensate for their 30th-ranked offensive line (54.1 PFF pass-blocking grade). Pittman’s 6.8-yard average depth of target ranks fifth-lowest among 39 NFL wide receivers with at least 50 targets.
  • Pittman’s 58.0 PFF receiving grade with Ehlinger at the helm is a far cry from his Ryan-induced 73.1 PFF receiving grade. 
  • Former assistant quarterbacks coach Parks Frazier will call plays.
  • PFF’s WR/CB matchup chart projects Pittman to face cornerbacks Rock Ya-Sin (63.9 PFF coverage grade), Anthony Averett (51.3 PFF coverage grade) and Amik Robertson (58.2 PFF coverage grade). The Las Vegas trio is aided by stud safety Duron Harmon (77.8 PFF coverage grade). 
  • The table below ranks the Las Vegas cornerbacks in parentheses among 104 NFL cornerbacks with at least 120 coverage snaps. Harmon is ranked among qualifying safeties with the same criteria.
Raiders CBs Pittman WR/CB Matchup Adv. Rating – Proj. Snaps vs. Pittman  Catch % Allowed Rec. Yds Allowed/Cov. Snap Explosive Pass Plays Allowed %
Rock Ya-Sin Below Avg. 41.9 – 16 55.6% (No. 21) 0.85 (No. 24) 1.2% (T-No. 11)
Anthony Averett Avg. 56.3 – 15 85.7% (No. 102) 1.52 (No. 87) 4.2% (No. 93)
Amik Roberston  Good 67.5 – 9 72.7% (No. 77) 1.12 (T-No. 50) 3.1% (No. 71)
Duron Harmon N/A – N/A 80.0% (No. 65) 0.38 (T-No. 17) 0.4% (No. 9)
  • Harmon’s 77.8 PFF coverage grade is tied for 11th-best at the position.

WR Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders vs. CB Josiah Scott, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Update: Philadelphia head coach Nick Sirianni told reporters that Maddox (hamstring) is unlikely to play on Monday night. Third-year cornerback Josiah Scott (55.0 PFF coverage grade) will start in Maddox’s stead. The lackluster Scott has allowed a 70.0% catch rate, 1.25 receiving yards per coverage snap and a 132.9 NFL passer rating when targeted. The imminent return of first-round rookie wide receiver Jahan Dotson will impact Samuel’s target share, but Samuel now has a very favorable matchup and can be safely started as a top-36 wide receiver in re-draft formats.
  • The Washington Commanders have a panic-inducing 16.5-point implied team total as 11.0-point road underdogs at Philadelphia. 
  • PFF’s WR/CB matchup chart projects Washington slot receiver Curtis Samuel (69.8 PFF receiving grade) to face Philadelphia slot cornerback Avonte Maddox (72.2 PFF coverage grade) on 27-of-39 receiving snaps.
  • In Week 3, Maddox erased Samuel. The table below reflects Samuel’s Week 3 production. Maddox did not allow a single reception in his slot coverage and recorded a perfect 0.0% open target rate. 
Slot Snaps Slot Rec./Tgt. – Yds – TD  Non-Slot Snaps Non-Slot Rec./Tgt. – Yds – TD Rush Att. – Yards – TD – Fum.
35 2/3 – 8 – 0 15 4/6 – 36 – 0 3 – 13 – 0 – 0
  • Samuel’s slot snap rate in Weeks 1-3, 68.8%, with early-season breakout rookie wide receiver Jahan Dotson in the lineup differs little from his 67.3% slot snap through Weeks 7-9.
  • Samuel will have opportunities on the perimeter, but among 29 NFL cornerbacks with at least 300 coverage snaps, cornerbacks Darius Slay (83.6 PFF coverage grade) and James Bradberry (78.2 PFF coverage grade) both boast top-six-ranked PFF coverage grades. 
  • Backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke has been under center the past three weeks, and Dotson (hamstring, 65.9 PFF receiving grade) is likely returning from a five-week absence.
  • Among Washington wide receivers with at least 10 targets in Weeks 1-6, Samuel led the team with both a 20.3% targets per route run rate and 47 targets. Since Heinicke took over, even with Dotson in the trainers room, Samuel tumbled to a 16.5% targets per route run rate and has been out-targeted by No. 1 wide receiver Terry McLaurin, 23-to-14. 
  • Dotson's return, plus the lockdown matchup and Heinicke’s focus on McLaurin, makes Samuel a Week 10 no-go. 

WR Michael Gallup, Dallas Cowboys vs. CB Rasul Douglas, Green Bay Packers
  • Dallas at Green Bay offers a ho-hum 43.0-point over/under, with Dallas receiving a reasonable 23.75-implied team total. 
  • Green Bay moved cornerback Rasul Douglas from the slot to the left side of the formation in Week 9 — and he thrived, earning perfect 0.0% open target and 0.0% completion rates. Among 12 NFL cornerbacks with at least 25 left-side snaps, Douglas’ 74.3 PFF left-side coverage grade trailed only Darius Slay’s 80.7 mark. 
  • Gallup figures to see Douglas and cornerback Jaire Alexander, the league’s eighth-ranked right-side cornerback (83.7 PFF right-side coverage grade) on over 90% of snaps.
  • Since returning from ACL reconstruction in Week 4, Gallup has failed to finish a game with either five catches or 50 receiving yards. 

WR Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings vs. CB Dane Jackson, Buffalo Bills
  • Minnesota garnered a moderate 20.0-point implied team total as road underdogs against Buffalo.
  • After the Week 9 trade for tight end T.J. Hockenson, veteran wide receiver Adam Thielen logged a 48.7% plurality on the right side while splitting remaining snaps 24.4% on the left and 26.8% in the slot. Thielen will take meaningful snaps versus all three Buffalo cornerbacks, but Dane Jackson (68.5 PFF coverage grade, PFF WR/CB average 48.0 matchup advantage rating) is the primary foe. 
  • The 32-year-old Thielen’s targets per route run rate slipped below 18.0% in three of the past four games and is unlikely to rebound with Hockenson asserting himself as Minnesota’s new No. 2 pass-catcher. 
Player Pre Routes Run: Tgt % – Yds YAC/Rec.  Rec. of 15+ Yds
Adam Thielen 17.5% – 1.65 7.0  2
T.J. Hockenson 25.0% – 1.94 2.8 2
  • Despite multiple defensive injuries, Buffalo’s loaded defense has maintained an elite level of play. 
  • The table below ranks Buffalo in parentheses among NFL teams. “No 1” represents the best defensive performance.
PFF Defense Grade PFF Coverage Grade PFF Pass-Rush Grade
72.1 (T-No. 8) 75.8 (No. 7) 83.8 (No. 2)
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